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Exhibition review Birds Have Fled
Univsersity of South Australia Art Museum
7 September - 2 October 1995
Published December 1995
Since 1829, the inhabitants of the western third of Australia have identified more closely with the black swan than the kangaroo. The swan was and is to be found on a wide range of items from buildings to letterheads and furry toys. It crosses class boundaries...
Exhibition review Beep 'n' Click
Entrepot Gallery Tasmanian School of Art
8 - 29 September 1995
Our affection for kitsch is a benign form of aesthetic hypocrisy. My generation, give or take 15 years, adores kitsch. We want to have some badness; it's fun: you laugh both at your dismay for an object and your perplexity over the delight that it brings. In a broad cultural sense, my generation is kitschophilic; and this means, I suppose, not that we love the kitschy object with innocence but that we love the contempt which the kitschy object arouses.
Big things have the power to make real the stuff of dreams. They have the power to make us stop at places we would never have dreamed of visiting. Grand kitsch is both art and beyond.
Australians have a natural thirst for objects of grand scale, however ridiculous their theme or location or context. From big sandfly, big axe to big oyster and beyond, we are the big desert island that experiences big wets and big dries, little wonder someone made a Big Tap to remind us...we are big drinkers.
Collections of any kind require patience, luck, money, space, time and dedication.....
In the trading card world there are collectors, dealers, curators, critics, interested observers, and of course various magazines. Does this world sound familiar? Looks at the role of collecting...
...But the Mardi Gras will always be a child of the seventies. Remember that mantra 'the personal is political'. In spite of the co-option and mainstreaming of Lesbian and Gay culture this wonderful spectacularly amateurish display (of difference) cannot help but be a politicised intervention.
Kitsch is a kind of creole. It quotes and mixes references from quite unrelated sources, dresses in wildly unsuitable materials, then tries to insinuate itself using childhood wiles.
Although well known in regional art histories, Western Australian sculptor Edward Kohler has a far wider importance. Economic survival led him to blend popular and high art long before it was standard practice. With the Piccadilly Theatre reliefs of 1938, the sheer exuberance and infectious quality of a positive (if unconscious) kitsch aesthetic entered professional Australian art 60 years ago: Hollywood meets Olympia.
Exhibition review Active Agents: Aids Art in Australia
Anthony Babicci, Bronwyn Bancroft, Simon Carver, Eddie Hackenberg, Ian Hartley, Leonore Lancaster, David McDiarmid, Ross Moore, Marcus O'Donnell, Scott Redford, Celia Roach, Gary Shinfield, Jackie Stockdale, Andrew Thomas-Clark, Hiram To, Julia Topliss, John Turner, David Urquart
Curators Jill Bennett and John Turner
University Gallery, University of Tasmania, Launceston
11 May - 9 June 1995